Niall Hampton
Editor

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Erwin Hymer UK's luxury line-up gets a new model for 2019, one that's based on a tried'n'tested six-berth from the popular Avanté range.

Overview

The luxury brand produced by Erwin Hymer Group UK goes forward into 2019 with one new model, the six-berth Aruba. But there's no difference to the size of the line-up, because in a tit-for-tat action, the six-berth Galera has been dropped. 

Geography majors will know the island of Aruba is a Dutch dependency off the north coast of Venezuela, a South American country perhaps best known for extreme left-wing governments. But there's nothing remotely Marxist about the Buccaneer Galera - like its siblings, this is a full-fat pitch to appeal to bourgeois tastes. 

Featuring a raft of luxury equipment, everything from a self-levelling system to cast iron pan stands, this is a range for buyers who refuse to compromise. 

Indeed, the genesis of the Aruba is one of upward mobility, as keen-eyed caravan spotters will recognise this floorplan from the mid-market Elddis Avanté 840. NEC showgoers pointed out that this layout would be a great addition to the Buccaneer, and the management of EHG UK was happy to oblige. 

Reviewing the Aruba also gives us a chance to mention various Buccaneer spec bumps for 2019, the main ones being new graphics, switches and sockets, locker and drawer handles, and kitchen splashback and pull-out storage baskets, and some upgrades to the washroom accessories. 

Pitching and setting up

All Buccaneer tourers are 8ft wide and run on Al-Ko chassis. Like the rest of the range, the Aruba is a twin-axle model.

At 8.16m in length, it's good to know the ATC anti-snaking system comes as standard.

As mentioned, E&P's self-levelling system is fitted and will get you all sorted on pitch in a matter of minutes.

All services connections are made on the offside. Enter the van through the single-piece caravan door to find the controls for the habitation services on your left, including the touchscreen panel for the Alde central heating.

Lounge

The 2019 flavour of Buccaneer tourers gets 'Prairie' soft furnishings, with an Aquaclean wipe-clean fabric finish and a pet claw resistant weave. The 'Cassino Ash' cabinetwork has a rich dark-wood tone, making a very pleasing ensemble.

With 8ft of width to play with, the lounge certainly feels spacious. Plenty of natural light floods in through five windows, a front skylight and a 'Stargazer' rooflight that tracks the course of the lounge gangway.

There's lots of all-LED interior lighting, too, including both over-locker and directional reading light varieties.

Comfort and convenience are a key Buccaneer selling point, of course, so little surprise that underfloor Alde wet central heating is fitted, which EHG UK is claiming as 'unique'.

Kitchen

For maximum user-friendliness, the Aruba's galley is arranged in full on the nearside.

A dual-fuel cooker to the left of the kitchen unit features cast-iron pan stands - a new touch for 2019. Underneath that, you'll find a separate oven and grill, and next to the cooker there's an oblong sink.

There's a decent amount of work surface to the right of the sink, and a trusty tip-up flap if more space is required. In addition, the offside dinette tabletop is also available if you should need it.

The large fridge to the left of the kitchen unit should have enough room for the needs of six people on tour. Above it is a microwave oven.

Washroom

The Aruba's washroom is sited in the offside rear corner, but is arranged like an end washroom in all but orientation.

Enter via a domestic-style door opposite the French bed to find a smart sink and vanity, with a half-length mirror behind it.

A central rooflight provides illumination for the whole space, while the swivelling cassette loo can be angled to improve the access to the shower compartment.

Access to this space is via a single-piece door, and the shower lining's tiled effect confirms this tourer's luxury credentials.

Inside, the fit-out comprises an Ecocamel shower head, a light, and a handy pull-out line for drying clothes.

Beds

In addition to the Aruba's rear French bed, which is 6ft 3in long, there's a large make-up double at the front of the van, which measures 6ft 11in by 4ft 8in. This makes up using slats that pull out from the front centre chest, rather than pull-across slat frames.

Another two berths are on hand in the side dinette, in the form of a small double that measures 6ft 1in by 4ft 2in.

Our review of the Elddis Avanté 840, which shares the same layout, wondered whether a Pullman bunk would have been a better solution for children sleeping here, but the Aruba also has the double bed.

Storage

You'd expect an 8m-long van to have a wide selection of locations for storing kit, and the Aruba certainly delivers.

In addition to the huge cavity under the rear French bed, accessed via gas struts, we counted 14 overhead lockers in addition to a half-length wardrobe and a selection of seat boxes in which to hide 179kg of user payload. Two of these, the nearside lounge seat box and the French bed, can be accessed from the outside. Other solutions include a cupboard and two drawers in the kitchen.

Technical specs

Berth6
MiRO1804kg
Payload179kg
MTPLM1983kg
Interior length6.39m
Shipping length8.16m
Width2.44m
Awning size1090cm

Verdict

Porting a tried-and-tested layout into a different range on the basis of customer demand seems like a sure-fire recipe for success. We'd be surprised if the Aruba isn't a hit, as it is a well-designed and kitted-out tourer that certainly makes the most of its generous dimensions. 

Conclusion

Pros

  • The superb spec makes the most of the floorplan
  • There is plenty of storage, even for a family of 6

Cons

  • You'll need the likes of a Disco to tow an Aruba

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